Here are some of the ideas I gleaned from reading Imagine. I'm focusing these tips on group creativity - the kind that is more concerned with creative problem solving than with making pretty posters.So, what can you do at your library to encourage creativity?
1. Arrange for people who don't usually work together to run into each other.
My library started making everyone conduct their staff meetings in the administrative offices. Now we see people from different branches on a regular basis, giving us the opportunity to share ideas.
2. Create teams that have some people who already know each another, and some who don't. This will help people feel comfortable enough to share freely, but still inject new ideas.
3. Go to conferences and retreats. They don't have to be very expensive or very far away. Getting away from your routine locations will also help you get away from routine thinking.
4. Keep conversations positive, but always encourage free debate. It's important to share ideas, and it's also important to discuss - talk about the pros and cons, talk about the flaws, talk about the failures as well as the successes. You're more likely to get the conversation you need to find a good idea, and to transform a good idea into a great one.
5. Share office space. I know, it's a pain - you can't hear on the phone, and you can't eat a king-sized bag of M&Ms without feeling judged. But people in shared space tend to talk, and it turns out that it really does help to bounce your ideas off someone else.
6. Make connections between people with different job functions. Don't just put all the librarians together on a team, and all the circulation staff together, and all the managers together. Again, this is a way to keep your brain open to new ideas - you have to hang around people with a different perspective.
7. Allow everyone some time to pursue new ideas and areas of interest. You'll drastically increase your idea pool, and you'll create some mental room for innovation.
To learn more about these ideas, read the book!